To date, it is largely unknown which light settings define the optimum to steer alertness and cognitive control during regular daytime working hours. In the current article, we used a multimeasure approach combined with a relatively large sample size ( N = 60) and a large range of intensity levels (20-2000 lux at eye level) to investigate the dose-dependent relationship between light and correlates of alertness and executive control during regular working hours in the morning and afternoon. Each participant was exposed to a single-intensity light level for 1 h after a 30-min baseline phase (100 lux at the eye) in the morning and afternoon (on separate days) during their daily routine. Results revealed no clear dose-dependent relationships between 1-h daytime light exposure and correlates of alertness or executive control. Subjective correlates showed only very modest linear relationships with the log-transformed illuminance, and we found no significant effects of light intensity on the behavioral and physiological indicators. Overall, these results suggest that daytime exposure to more intense light, at least for 1 h of exposure, may not systematically benefit alertness or executive functioning. However, future research is required to investigate effects of longer exposure durations and potential moderations by prior light exposure, personal characteristics, and spectrum.
- dose-response curve
- executive control